Public invited to discuss ways to commemorate Maine’s bicentennial

Members of the public are invited to discuss how best to commemorate Maine’s bicentennial at a free dinner hosted by the University of Maine Humanities Center in Searsport on June 16.

From 5–7 p.m. at the Penobscot Marine Museum’s First Congregational Church, guests will have the opportunity to take part in an informal exchange on planning for the 200th anniversary celebration of Maine’s statehood in 2019–2020.

Maine became the 23 state in the U.S. on March 15, 1820. The movement to separate from Massachusetts began at least as early as 1785 and gained momentum as a result of the War of 1812, according to Liam Riordan, a UMaine history professor and director of the UMaine Humanities Center (UMHC).

The bicentennial of Maine’s statehood prompts residents to examine several important issues that remain pressing today, Riordan says, including the origin of the idea of “two Maines” and what the state’s separation from Massachusetts meant for Native Americans and sovereignty in their homelands.

Participating institutions include the Belfast Historical Society, Castine Historical Society, Mount Desert Island Historical Society, Maine Historical Society, Northeast Historic Film, Osher Map Library, UMaine History Department, UMaine Native American Studies and UMaine Press, as well as the historian of Maine’s Passamaquoddy Tribe.

Registration is online. For more information about the event and Maine’s bicentennial, visit the UMHC website or contact Riordan at